Singer, on Mueller: He “grabbed my ass”
The superstar took the stand Thursday morning
Taylor Swift’s hour-long testimony Thursday may have featured the highest number of times the word “ass” and “cheek” were heard in a courtroom.
The pop singer took the stand first thing in the morning as part of her civil trial with David Mueller. Mueller sued Swift and others on her team, claiming they cost him his job. He’s not asked for specific monetary damages, but an expert witness deposed by his lawyers estimated his losses at $3 million. Swift countersued, alleging sexual assault, and is asking for a symbolic $1 judgment.
Swift was composed on the stand, sparring with Mueller’s lawyer, Gabe McFarland, digging her heels in and making the gallery — and one or two jurors — chuckle. She also took every opportunity to say something along the lines of, “your client reached under my skirt and grabbed my ass.” Swift’s lawyer did not cross-examine her.
Mueller previously testified that when he and his girlfriend entered the meet-and-greet photo booth, his girlfriend told Swift that they worked at the radio station KYGO. He said Swift practically ignored him, talking animatedly with his girlfriend.
He said Swift called for the photo suddenly, causing Mueller to jump in at the last second and jostle with her arms. He has repeatedly insisted that he did not inappropriately touch her.
Swift had a different story. She said the two came in and Mueller was the one to announce that he was a radio host at KYGO. Swift thanked him for what he did, the three talked briefly and then it was time for the photo.
At this point, all three were standing in a standard photo position when Mueller grabbed her rear and hung on. She said she moved toward Mueller’s girlfriend in an attempt to get away and looked uncomfortable. Swift said there was no jumping in — “it wasn’t an action shot” — and no arm jostling.
Afterward, Swift said her personality turned off like a light switch. Looking at the ground, she gave her customary thank-you, and another group of fans were coming to meet her. When the meet-andgreet ended, she told her team what happened.
McFarland pushed Swift on points that he has raised earlier in the trial, but Swift seemed prepared with either a response or a quip.
Did anyone see Mueller grab her behind? Swift said the action was “devious” and “sneaky” because the only thing behind Swift was the photo tent’s wall. To have a direct line of sight, someone would have to be under her skirt, Swift said, “and we didn’t have someone positioned there.”
Her security guard said he saw Mueller put his hand under Swift’s skirt, but he didn’t react. Was Swift critical of his lack of response?
“I’m not going to blame (the security guard) for something Mr. Mueller did,” she said.
Couldn’t Swift have said something at the time? Swift said fans were already on their way. They would have heard something if she told her team and she didn’t want the word to get out. She also didn’t want to ask the fans to leave, which would make them feel uncomfortable and ruin their experience.
But, McFarland pushed, couldn’t she have done something?
“Yes, and your client could have taken a normal photo with me,” she replied.
Swift rarely lost composure, although she did lash out toward the end of her testimony, as McFarland questioned her about how she identified Mueller.
She said that after her declaration that someone grabbed her, her photographer immediately knew who it was and went
to the photo.
McFarland asked if it would have been better to go through all the photos to make sure it was the right person.
“I don’t need you to grill me about tiny details in a photo and if I did a police line-up,” she said.
Earlier, McFarland had been asking Swift what her reaction was to Mueller’s firing. She said she had none because he was a stranger. McFarland pushed her, though, saying this was a man she said assaulted her.
“I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel that this is in any way my fault, because it isn’t,” she said, adding that she didn’t care if a “strange guy” lost his job. “I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events in his life, which are a product of his decision, not mine.”
The trial continues Friday and is scheduled to last until Aug. 24.
Brooke Jonson waits in line Thursday to get a seat at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in Denver to view the fourth day of a civil trial to determine whether a radio host groped pop singer Taylor Swift.
In this courtroom sketch, pop singer Taylor Swift speaks from the witness stand during the trial Thursday. Swift testified Thursday that David Mueller, a former radio DJ, reached under her skirt and intentionally grabbed her backside during a meet-and-a-greet photo session before a 2013 concert in Denver.